Aug 27, 2015

Pasta Salad with Japanese Salted Salmon, Arugula, and Orange Juice Vinaigrette

Got some leftover baby arugula after making salad with marinated octopus. The original idea was to mix the remaining arugula with risotto. However, this leafy green has a distinct peppery taste and the flavor better shines through when serving uncooked. As a result, here's one other salad recipe using baby arugula. 

Pasta salad with Japanese salted salmon, arugula, and orange juice vinaigrette -

Ingredients (for two)?

  • 1 small box baby arugula
  • 2 Japanese salted salmon/shiozake or fresh salmon steak
  • 1 cup whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries

Dressing -

  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to high heat and bake the salted salmon till fully cooked through and the skin turns crunchy, about 10 minutes. Japanese salted salmon fillets can be substitute with fresh salmon steak. Simply sprinkle a thin layer of salt on both sides of the salmon and let it rest for about 10 minutes before baking. 

Japanese salted salmon sometimes comes with bones. It's better to inspect the fish with your fingertips see if any pointy bumps present. Make sure to pull out the bones before baking.

Mix all the dressing ingredients for a simple orange juice vinaigrette, pulps are welcomed. 

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and season with some salt. Add in the pasta and cook according to the package instruction. Once ready, drain well and mix with half of the orange juice vinaigrette to prevent sticking.

Toss baby arugula with the remaining half of the vinaigrette and 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries. Gently mix together with fusilli pasta and top the salad with cooked salmon. Grind some black pepper on top right before serving. 

Other salad recipes:

Aug 22, 2015

High Quality Beef Trimmings - Seared Beef, Kimchi, and Egg Yolk Donburi

Found a pack of Snake River Farms American Kobe beef trimmings for a bargain price. The meat is about twice or three times thicker than usual beef slices, just perfect for my simple donburi (rice bowl) recipe.

Seared beef, kimchi, and egg yolk donburi -

Ingredients (for two)?

  • 0.7 lb/320 grams thick beef slices
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Tiny bit olive oil
  • Some kimchi
  • Some steamed white rice
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds
  • Some salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper


Prepare steamed white rice for two. 

Remove the beef from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before cooking. Season both sides with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Drizzle just tiny bit of olive to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and turn to medium high heat. Once the pan reaches high temperature, add in the beef slices. Sear both sides till desired doneness. Slightly rare center is fine because we are using high quality beef here.

Remove the meat from heat. Continue to use the same pan and leave the heat on. Drizzle some soy sauce from the side of the pan so the direct contact of the heat can further bring out the soy sauce aroma. Add in the butter and mix a little. Cook till the sauce gets slightly thicker, should take less than 30 seconds with such small amount of liquid. 

Scoop some steamed white rice to two serving bowls. Arrange the beef slices around the edge and drizzle the sauce throughout. Add store bought kimchi in the center and sprinkle some toasted white sesame seeds. Carefully transfer an egg yolk in the very center on top of kimchi.

Little trick here, make a shallow hole in the center of the kimchi pile so the yolk can stay in place without sliding down. 

I'm eating like a queen here.

Other rice bowl recipes:

Aug 16, 2015

Baby Arugula Salad with Store Bought Marinated Octopus

Arugula is quite expensive here in Taiwan, not mentioning the triple washed kind for salad. However, my urge for this peppery leafy green was growing out of control. In the end, I've decided to give up on my bucket of fried chicken in exchange for a small box of baby arugula. Talking about eating healthy.

Baby arugula salad with store bought marinated octopus -

Ingredients (smaller portion for two)?

  • 1 small can marinated octopus 
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 tablespoon pitted black olives
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fleur de Sel or sea salt
  • Some extra virgin olive oil
  • Some white wine vinegar


Open up canned octopus and drain out the oil or water inside. Thinly slice the octopus if possible. Judging by the pictures, yes I failed on that part. As a result, I laid the better sliced octopus on the bottom for one batch and simply mix the not so good looking chunks with the remaining salad.

Cut the tomato in half, deseed, and then chop into smaller cubes. Halve then slice the black olives. 

Pour in equal amount of extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar, I used 1/4 cups each but still got some leftover dressing. Season with some salt and black pepper, whisk and give it a taste see if more salt if needed. However, there's no need to over season this simple salad dressing since the marinated octopus and black olives are both salty to a certain extent. 

Mix the salad dressing with tomato cubes, black olives, and octopus first. Lastly, gently mix with baby arugula right before plating to prevent the leaves from wilting too fast.

Decorate with more freshly ground black pepper on the plate.

Octopus can be substituted with cocktail shrimps or squid, these two other ingredients should be easier to come by at most major grocery stores. 

Other salad recipes: